Failure, hustling, Lessons Learned, pitching, startup

On failing: Crowd funding an iPhone app on IndieGoGo

My entrepreneurial buddy Francis and I tried to crowd fund a startup. It was an iPhone app. More specifically, an Instagram for one second videos. We failed. Spectacularly.

But don’t let that discourage you from trying. Here are some of the lessons we learned.

Update: For validation of our concept, see now twitter owned Vine and Cesar Kuriyama’s 1 Second Every Day that emerged over six months later.

Boot Screen

Recap for new readers: In the summer of 2012, me and Francis decided to experiment with crowd funding. We’re both busy running a couple of other startups, but since we were both n00bs to this crowd funding thing we thought we’d better get some experience and without potentially involving our main brands.

In short, we were trying to crowdfund an app to shoot and share videos composed of one second shots – six months before Vine and One Second Everyday. (I still remember people laughing at the idea back then…)

Roughly speaking there are two main types of crowd funding: 1) Funding against selling equity, percentages of shares that is, in your company 2) Funding against selling perks, products, merchandise, hot air and bridges in London – for no equity whatsoever. As we are both stingy bootstrappers, we liked the sound of the last option.

We decided go with IndieGoGo since you needed to be a US citizen to use Kickstarter at the time – or find someone with one willing to be use as a proxy, which would raise all sorts of other issues like liability, legality and added costs in fees – and the potential of a 3rd party effectively being able to hold your money hostage if successful.

Here’s what the last iteration of the video pitch on IndieGoGo looked like:

Starting out, we had some assumptions and there were a few things we wanted to test and (in-)validate:

  1. Is it possible (for us, right now) to crowd fund (without equity) the development of an iPhone app?
  2. Is there any interest in this product in the market?
  3. How efficient is spamming, mailing, tweeting, posting and otherwise contacting friends, fools, families, bloggers and journos?
  4. What is the conversion rate from blogs and news sites when and if we get published?

The tl;dr answers:

  1. No
  2. Yes
  3. Abysmal
  4. Disastrous (extrapolated)

Read on for the more longwinded answers and conclusion.

As luck would have it, during our campaign I also got the chance to ask IndieGoGo co-founder Danae Ringelmann (@GoGoDanae) in person at a panel on Crowd Funding of startups in Europe moderated by Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher) at the Campus Party EU in Berlin.

Mike Butcher moderating panel on Crowd Funding at Campus Party EU in Berlin

Danae was kind enough to sit down with me after the panel and give me more advice on our crowd funding campaign. Here’s what we learned from her:

  1. For a very successful IndieGoGo campaign example, look at Satarii Star.
  2. Add as much as possible to the story of “what’s in it for me as a backer”, “only you make it happen”, “if you help this happen you will be able to do X and Y”, focus on the emotional appeal. Think Apple.
  3. If you can, show “what’s in it for me” in images to help emotionalize it.
  4. Ramp up the communication about what is going to happen if you fail to raise the target amount and make sure to communicate the consequences.
  5. Reach more than $ 1.000 before pushing to the press.
  6. Reach out to people who have already pledged for stories and testimonials, publish their stories about why they believe in you.
  7. You can extend the running time of a campaign. Get in touch with IndieGoGo support if you need to extend the time.
  8. Keep pushing press although they don’t react at first. Just keep it up and ping them back on any kind of updates.

BONUS (and this is from me, not from Danae): Pay or raise the plus $ 1.000 yourself with family and friends you will pay back if you can and if you’re going for a campaign that gets to keep the money regardless if you reach your goal and consider the PayPal fee marketing expenses. I’ve heard this trick is more the rule than the exception on IndieGoGo.

It’s evident to everybody by now that we were spectacularly unable to fund the development of the OneSec iPhone app. Was it because it’s the wrong product? We don’t think so based on the feedback we are still receiving. We still think there’s a great opportunity to be had here. We have not given up on it.

Could we have kept on going, extending the campaign, applying and executing on the knowledge that we gained on the way? Certainly, but we decided to call it quits and call it a #fail. We had learned a lot about doing a crowd funding campaign and it was time to move on.

In the course of the campaign we were tweeting, retweeting, blogging, mailing and Facebook posting night and day. Manually and automated. We spammed around 680+ journalists in an email blast. We posted tips to about 20 of the top tech trend agencies. We filled special interest forums. We instagrammed. We YouTubed.

Here’s the results:

And how did this convert? The honest answer; We have no direct way of measuring it as IndieGoGo doesn’t offer standard referral analytics. You can track how many tweeted and posted your campaign to Facebook using the share buttons on the campaign page – but that’s it.

Having no referrer data is insane if you’re somewhat successful and want to identify where the traffic is coming from and what to focus on. Luckily for us, we were complete failures and measuring conversion of referrers when you have zero effects is pretty easy. We still would have loved to see which source drove the most traffic – if any, though. (See Francis’ posts on stats on publishing and conversion for more on this subject).

The lesson to us was pretty clear that spamming journalists and getting some publicity didn’t convert into any pledges.

We probably also launched our publicity efforts too soon, before we had reached $ 1.000. Next time we’ll consider paying this amount in ourselves and considering IndieGoGo’s cut as marketing expenses.

Conclusion

So what do we think were our biggest mistakes and lessons learned? What would we do differently next time?

  1. We failed to explain the product well enough
  2. We failed to make an emotional connect with more potential users and backers
  3. We failed to identify the target user segments and multiplier groups
  4. We failed with the tongue-in-cheek, no-budget style whereas more successful campaigns have had more of a serious and solid narrative with polished video content

In hindsight, it’s clear we failed to explain the product to people in the pitch video. Talking to people, the single most frequent first response is “I don’t get it”. Then we take the time to explain it and then they are like “Oh, I see. That’s cool”. We could have made a more detailed demo – especially detailing what we’ve planned for the super-easy editing and the social sharing aspects of it. Making an extensive demo would have taken considerable more time and effort than we already put it, but doing a campaign over again we’d probably start with explaining the product in more detail.

We failed to make an emotional connect with potential users and funders on two levels. On the one hand successfully conveying why we’re doing this, why we believe in this and what will happen if we don’t get funded. On the other we also failed to explain and “sell” the “what’s in it for me” the “how this makes my life better” to the potential backers. Doing it over, we would focus on how the product improves the user’s life like keeping more in touch and more up to date about your life, lives of friends and families, sharing more with others instead of your videos just gathering virtual dust on SD cards and hard disks, Apple-style with people showing real-life use-cases.

Starting out, we spammed targeted our friends, families and fellow entrepreneurs and things looked good for a while. Then as the campaign progressed, growth quickly leveled out as we didn’t manage to identify and branch out to new potential groups of users that would love our product and to other communities who’d be interested in seeing us succeed. Next time, it would probably be smarter to to do some research, tests and cohort analysis to find those groups up front before launching the campaign, having an actual plan on who to market it to, where they are, how to best reach them and how to better enable them to engage with and share the campaign.

In conclusion if we could have invoiced all the work we put in as regular consulting hours with normal customers, we’d probably made more than our original target for the funding campaign. But don’t let that deter you from trying. Just avoid doing the same mistakes we did.

For further reading on lessons learned, make check out Francis’ “Tales of Creation” where other entrepreneurs share their experiences and insights.

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we perhaps test and learn how to fund an iPhone app – an Instagram for one second videos – with private investors for equity.

Until then, I’d love to know what your experiences with crowd funding are. How did your campaign go? What did you learn? What do you think we did wrong? Share in the comments or join the conversation on Hacker News.

OneSec screenshot 2

Update: We were approached by a major investor in [insert name of massively successful camera product brand here] after we had decided that the experiment had run its course and shortly before the Vine app hit the street. Of course there is no telling if that conversation could have gone anywhere interesting – or not – had we decided to revive it and press on. However, perhaps the last lesson learned was that these things take more time than you think. To create and manage – but also for your message to reach out to interesting new places. And just as you are about to lose faith and passion, your luck just might turn if you stick to it. However, we had already decided to kill it as we had run out of personal interest and passion. With the release of Vine immediately after, that decision was reconfirmed for us and I don’t think we regret killing it.

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Events, News, startup

We made it to LeWeb 2011!

We at @getGauss made it to LeWeb 2011 all because of people like YOU helped vote us there! We are very grateful for your support!

Have you been wondering what our bootstrapped startup is all about? Watch our live world premiere from on stage at LeWeb in Paris:

This is what Gauss – The People Magnet is all about:

The amazing pitch coaches to whom we owe our pitching steez – Chris Shipley (@cshipley) and Michelle Messina:

Videobombing Sean Parker’s keynote live on-screen, meeting Geraldine and Loïc backstage:

Interviewed by TechCrunch Europe on the LeWeb Radio:

Interviewed by the wonderful Mylène Schwinte (@swantoka) for the Leonardo Davinci Institute:

Hustling in the LeWeb Startup Exhibition hall:

Time to thank our fans personally after voting for us:

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News

Gauss – The People Magnet

I’ve been way too busy lately and should probably have filled you in on what the hell I am up to these days much earlier. Anyways – here’s the lowdown.

As I alluded to a while back, I’m co-founding a new tech startup in the social/local/mobile space. It just took a hell of a lot longer than expected to assemble a willing and able crew of bootstrappers to make it happen, but now it’s finally happening!

Introducing ‘Gauss – The People Magnet’!

Did you ever find yourself wondering if you are missing out on meeting interesting relevant people around you right now? Gauss (@getGauss) answers that question for you; It discovers, helps you with approaching, connecting and actually meeting up with the people relevant to you around you right now.

Gauss (@getGauss) is a real-time proximity based discovery and introduction engine. The first product we’re shipping is an iPhone app; a People Magnet for your pocket.

You connect the app with the social networks and services that you currently use (like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc), pocket the magnet and carry on. Gauss will instantly start with discovering and attracting relevant people to you.

Gauss aims to reduce the seeming randomness of serendipitous encounters and the hassles related to approaching and connecting with relevant new people in lasting and meaningful ways.

Gauss is also the unit of measurement of a magnetic field, named after the legendarily awesome German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss.

Be sure to sign up and spread the word for an early beta access if this sounds like your kind of thing! You can read more on the Gauss Blog.

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Software, Usability

How to Improve the List Experience in the TweetMag iPad App

Have you tried out TweetMag yet? It’s an exiting new iPad app that will let you comfortably read an aggregate of your @twitter feeds. The app is not totally unlike Flipboard, but it’s currently and it let’s you consume the content in a more flexible and enjoyable way in my personal opinion. However, the way TweetMag (as of writing) facilitates twitter list management sucks. I’ll suggest a quick and dirty fix to that below, but first, take a look at the sweet TweetMag app in their promo video:

The problem with lists in TweetMag

Right now, the process of adding and managing twitter lists in TweetMag can be a very painful chore especially if you are following many lists from one single user. You have to add each list separately, one at a time, by dragging the icon of a list from the menu bottom right to the top menue bar or rack (up to “TOP STORIES” and “CATEGORIES”). As that was not bad enough, you need to drill your way down the interface to find the same user again and open her lists again for adding the next list. And again. And again. And again. Ouch! And as if that wasn’t enough, you can’t even see which lists you have already added! That’s just silly and poor design if you ask me. Click on the image below to see a screenshot of the current TweetMag app on the iPad in its original size:

My improvement suggestions

It doesn’t have to be this painful. I’ve made a very quick and dirty improvement suggestion illustrated below, adding a simple visual cue and an extra button.

The user should visually be reminded of the lists she’s already added by labeling and/or fading out (ghosting) the already added twitter list’s icon (illustrated). It is not possible to spot which lists the user has already added in the current version of TweetMag, potentially leading to a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth operations to verify if a list has already been added or not.

Currently, to add another list from the same twitter user, the user is forced by the software app to step out of context, remembering (internalising) the previous steps and repeat a multiple step process to get back into the context of continuing to add twitter lists from the same user.

That’s just not nice to the user in my book. I think the software should play by your processes and let you stay in your context. By adding an add/remove list button directly in the list overview, the user would be able to add, remove, manage all list operations in one process without having to leave context or having to remember previous steps and keeping the original goal in mind while working herself back into context repetitively per list management operation.

Adding colour to the add/remove buttons like green and red could further enhance affordance.

Should you be worried that any spatial navigational cue of having the user dragging the icon to the TweetMag rack might be lost for each add/remove operation using simple button operations instead of drag & drop, I suggest looking at how Apple OSX is doing this; You could animate the icons flying up on the rack, flying down out of the rack respectively to retain the visual cues. Take a look at the image below for a quick and dirty mockup of my suggested changes:

Tweetmag iOS App list management improvement suggestion

I also added the suggestion on Get Satisfaction should you be interested in my suggestion to improving list management in the TweetMag app.

Your opinion

What do you think of TweetMag? Do you love it? Hate it? Perhaps you prefer Flipboard? Do you create and manage twitter lists with TweetMag?

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Business Ideas, Mobile, Rants, Software

A mobile business idea – from 2003

A couple of months ago I met a new acquaintance that had some interesting business ideas. As luck would have it, they happened to correlate in part with some ancient ideas of my own and we instantly hit it off. Since then, a little voice in the back of my head has been telling me that I might have a record of the original brainstorming back in 2003. It’s not quite what we’re up to these days, but it is in many ways related. At least it was sort of the spore for me. More on that for a future post, perhaps.

Mobile Lineage

Lo’ behold: I actually managed to find the original IM chat log between me and a good friend sometime first half of 2003 after some searching of archived CD-ROMs [sic], translated in parts from Norwegian. It’s a fun time capsule if nothing more and it’s interesting to see how the assessments and predictions for mobile devices, services and business models we had back in 2003 relate to the mobile reality of 2010 – or not.

If you’re of an overly sensitive nature, be warned that this post contains colourful adult language. I would also state for the record that my references to Nipponese people and Nipponese culture are not meant to be derogatory, defamatory or otherwise insulting. Far from it. I find Japanese people and culture most fascinating and inspiring.

To all telcos that might find statements, opinions and ideas in this post derogatory, defamatory or otherwise insulting – well life just ain’t fair, is it?

My friend’s IM nickname has been changed to protect the guilty. He knows who he is and what he has done.  ;)

So with no further ado I’ll let it all hang out here in the open  for posterity. What can I say. We were angry young men of low moral fiber young and needed the money:

BlackTar says:
http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/business/technology/5987828.htm [link no longer active – nice argument for permalinks – and I was not able to find it on wayback machine. Anyway, I seem to remember the article was about some new dating and geolocation thingy]

BlackTar says:
new? no

BlackTar says:
I’ve had an idea about the perfect Japanese mobile phone along those lines for a long time.. .

BlackTar says:
it’s gotta happen sooner or later – would bee nice to cash in ourselves

Friend says:
I thought this was cool when I read about it back in the tamagotchi days

BlackTar says:
yeah, but think about the possibility to cash in real money on perv nipponese (and the rest of the world for that matters)

Friend says:
I think that would be pretty kick-ass, actually…

BlackTar says:
there once was this Japanese hightech product that would let you plot in sexual and partner preference and it would indicate when someone with the same gizmo and matching profile would be in your vicinity

BlackTar says:
it never took off

Friend says:
not necessarily for perv purposes

BlackTar says:
no, true – but it’s more fun if you think about perverted nipponese

BlackTar says:
well.. . my idea is to enable each and every mobile phone with the same capabilities

Friend says:
separate the crap, sort of

BlackTar says:
either with a Java app together with a server based solution

BlackTar says:
low threshold

BlackTar says:
or just the server solution

BlackTar says:
ref. NetCom Buddy [early Norwegian geolocation service that you could set up in a web interface to have it report by sms where your friends were, based on opt-in consent and triangulation]

BlackTar says:
you can already receive notifications about where your friends are

Friend says:
hmm.. it cannot work other than server side.. or else you need new hardware

BlackTar says:
true, but the interface could be Java

BlackTar says:
instead of sending sms – but sms is a proven business model by now

Friend says:
if it can’t run piggyback on the standard mobile server traffic

BlackTar says:
it is a prerequisite that it can

BlackTar says:
(must)

Friend says:
but you can like request a ‘proximity check’ from the server, anyway.

BlackTar says:
yeah, but you do it via SMS!!!

BlackTar says:
that’s the genious part!

BlackTar says:
you constantly need to BUY services!!

Friend says:
yeahyeah, of course.. just thinking out aloud here

BlackTar says:
I think this is ripe for bigggg bucks

Friend says:
piggybucks!

BlackTar says:
piggy, piggy can’t you see.. .

BlackTar says:
imagine you are about to go out for a night on the town – then you just set up what you are looking for today/tonight – either via sms or web – then you can request proximity checks via sms afterwards

BlackTar says:
I believe and think this is worth insane amounts of money

BlackTar says:
after all – the human sex drive is probably the most proven business model of them all

BlackTar says:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/02/national/02INTE.html

BlackTar says:
wtf

Friend says:
Keep a lid on it!

BlackTar says:
riiiiiiiiiiiiight

BlackTar says:
how much does a patent cost?

Friend says:
the nipponese are probably working on this already.. better sleuth for some industrial espionage on the net

BlackTar says:
you are the only one I’ve told

BlackTar says:
no! I don’t think the nipponese even use sms

BlackTar says:
do they?

BlackTar says:
they probably have some sort of micropayment system

BlackTar says:
but.. . I picture this being just as big in the us of a

Friend says:
are they making money on devices or services or both.. sort of

BlackTar says:
both I think

BlackTar says:
they do have a completely different network

Friend says:
yeah well, usa have discovered sms and teletext only in the recent year or so

BlackTar says:
with 489587347598759 more features and bandwidth

Friend says:
hmm.. but they can’t launch a network just for this? .. probably radio

Friend says:
isn’t it only short distance that is of interest?

Friend says:
or

BlackTar says:
no, it could probably work on the nipponese network too

Friend says:
e.g. sitting at home checking out where the most likeminded are in the city at the moment

BlackTar says:
exactly

BlackTar says:
you can do this today with GSM

BlackTar says:
and probably with anything that sends and receives waves

Friend says:
yeah, with people you know…. ok I know how this can work

BlackTar says:
trinangulation between base stations

Friend says:
yeahyeah

BlackTar says:
it’s going to get much more fun when gps becomes a natural part of a mobile phone

Friend says:
but it can work exactly like the “where are my friends” thing

BlackTar says:
triangulation is even more accurate as of now, tho afaik

Friend says:
you don’t have to send any extra information between phone and central either

BlackTar says:
yeah! and one should also be able to do the “where are my friends” thing too

BlackTar says:
no, it only takes that you opt-in to allow your geolocation to be published

BlackTar says:
you’ll send a simple or advanced query to the server via SMS – it returns what it finds

Friend says:
because the numbers are categorized on the central [server] into interests you’ve been filling out over the internet.. and when one does a “my friends search” it does not search for the numbers you’ve added, but any number they’ve flagged prerequisites

Friend says:
the technology is already there

BlackTar says:
after a proprietary – a la google – sorting

BlackTar says:
there has to be some flexibility in handling the query such as you risk to never get a match [sic]

Friend says:
that you not? or? huh+

BlackTar says:
a lot of the success factor lays thus in the algorithm(s) for handling the matching of criteria

BlackTar says:
understandably you could make this hyper simple too

BlackTar says:
with if/else functions, booleans

Friend says:
hmm.. I don’t really see a problem with this.. you get % numbers on matches and it’s left to the user to decide if that’s good enough, sort of..

Friend says:
a fixed number of hits every time

BlackTar says:
% match is meaningless – ref websearch

Friend says:
hmmm….. can one buy oneself upwards on the lists?

BlackTar says:
hehe

Friend says:
el corrupto

BlackTar says:
that doesn’t work either ref websearch

BlackTar says:
but it’s clear that you have to specify degree of match you want when you request query per sms

BlackTar says:
hihi

BlackTar says:
so you have to send more than 1

BlackTar says:
and it is clear that you need heaps of parameters and features that you can adjust per sms

Friend says:
mo’ money

BlackTar says:
but just enough so that it becomes, stays functional

Friend says:
one can request info on hits

BlackTar says:
so, you see.. . it’s in actual fact the sane as Trepia – only smarter

BlackTar says:
regular people don’t understand hits

BlackTar says:
info on hits? more info, click hear plz

Friend says:
duh

BlackTar says:
tell me more about info on hits

Friend says:
Once you’re a member of the service you can enter personal info about yourself, this can be bought with sms, when MMS gets common you can have images/videos, whatever, too

BlackTar says:
yeah

BlackTar says:
yes

BlackTar says:
info on hit == profiles

BlackTar says:
brb

[snip, snip, snip. Lunch break and a funny digression about Cottage Cheese, Procter & Gamble, Amway and the Church of Satan. It happens, you know.]

BlackTar says:
what’s neat & sweet about the mobile service is that it is remarkably compatible with the multi level marketing [MLM] scheme!!!

BlackTar says:
you have a product (that in addition to be low cost – initial investment only) that people consume and come back to consume
– then you ‘franchise’ the system to agents below you (distribution companies, telcos, etc) who then resell the service to other subcontractors. We collect from every party from the bottom up!!

BlackTar says:
== daddy bigbucks

Friend says:
what’s the name of the friends search service thing from telenor?

BlackTar says:
no idea

BlackTar says:
[the service from] netcom is called ‘buddy’

[snip, snip, snip. A digression about SARS in China, ill friends and travel.]

Friend says:
http://telenormobil.no/mobilinfo/oversikt.jsp

Friend says:
#2

Friend says:
Pick-up tips?!!!! jesus

Friend says:
Jokes?!!! OMG

BlackTar says:
positioning

Friend says:
ho ho!

BlackTar says:
‘It costs NOK 0,0 per message that you receive.’

BlackTar says:
eh?

Friend says:
hmmm.. Whiskey Tango Foxrot ?!

Friend says:
ah.. you pay fixed

BlackTar says:
longitude and latitude?

BlackTar says:
how much does one pay fixed?

Friend says:
or?

Friend says:
no, then they would probably state it

Friend says:
‘The query is free but you have to pay for the answer.’

BlackTar says:
Probably an error

BlackTar says:
‘Get Bible verses directly to the mobile.
It costs NOK 3,0 per message that you receive.’

BlackTar says:
‘when do you want to be notified’

BlackTar says:
haha

BlackTar says:
http://telenormobil.no/mobilinfo/product/categories.jsp?maincategory=ENTERTAINMENT&category=CATEGORY0

BlackTar says:
fucking hell

Friend says:
what about a ‘get out of a meeting’ service? Order an incoming call in 20 mins. .. hoho you can use alarm clock wake up services for this

BlackTar says:
yupp

Friend says:
oops.. muyo importante, must go!

BlackTar says:
http://telenormobil.no/mobilinfo/product/product.jsp?productCode=BIORYTMER

Friend says:
hmmmmmm…..hmmmm…mhm…hmhmhm.hm……

BlackTar says:
kiss my.. .

BlackTar says:
“You will receive a total of two messages.
It costs NOK 5,- per received message.”

Friend says:
set sail for cock, assboat!

BlackTar says:
I too want to cash in on this NOW!!!

Friend says:
serialz straight to your mobile

BlackTar says:
gotta talk to [other friend].. . He knows some people who do bulk SMS server solutions

BlackTar says:
hihi

BlackTar says:
l/p pr0n craxx0r

BlackTar says:
abuse

BlackTar says:
send a message with the code ‘idiot’ and get an incoming call telling you off for being stupid enough to waste NOK 10,00 on the service

BlackTar says:
that would probably work too

Friend says:
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… do you have a link to that ‘buddy’ thing?

BlackTar says:
http://www.netcom.no/

Friend says:
kinda wondering what kind of info you get back? your friend is situated at 4525 degrees north, 34 clicks west at sea level 341345?

BlackTar says:
in the street with number of the house

BlackTar says:
have tested

Friend says:
kool

BlackTar says:
http://mother.netcom.no/Forside/index.html

BlackTar says:
http://mother.netcom.no/Login/login_page.html?org=%2FBuddy%2Findex.html

Friend says:
if one does not find funding in a hurry, then it’s just to send a registered letter that explains the gig to telenor and netcom.. wait ca 1 year and then sue..

BlackTar says:
yup – file at lawyer and deposit box

BlackTar says:
stupid pages

BlackTar says:
ah! I got the buddy password right now

BlackTar says:
neat

BlackTar says:
can log in everywhere at netcom without being registered

Friend says:
yes, so get it theeeeeeeeeeeeeen

Friend says:
usually receives it immediately

BlackTar says:
yup

BlackTar says:
you got netcom?

Friend says:
yes

BlackTar says:
okidoki

Friend says:
hmmm… does it cost anything, come to think of it?

BlackTar says:
probably per received message

BlackTar says:
with MAP and stuff!!!

BlackTar says:
‘It is free to use Buddy from mother.no in August and September!’
Det er gratis å bruke Buddy fra mother.no i hele august og september!

BlackTar says:
[mobile phone number]?

Friend says:
yes

Friend says:
HELL! Why don’t I get a passsssssssssword

BlackTar says:
took 3 tries before I got one

BlackTar says:
search (reception) SMS WAP* and WEB
1 person NOK 3,00
Group 2-5 persons NOK 5,00
Group 6-10 persons NOK 8,00

Friend says:
I’m not fucking receiving one

Friend says:
maybe they canceled my subscription thingy?

Friend says:
haven’t tried to call lately…

BlackTar says:
wap & web per gprs.. . hmm whatwhat what

BlackTar says:
you need to invite people

BlackTar says:
so I’ll try to localize myself then

Friend says:
bah

[snip, snip, snip. Digression about HL2 screener, SMS gambling services, gen BS]

BlackTar says:
so

BlackTar says:
I’ve invited myself now

BlackTar says:
to netcom buddy

BlackTar says:
but now the html doesn’t work

BlackTar says:
damned shit

BlackTar says:
part of the secret about the sms thing is that it shouldn’t be as committing and explicit as the classifieds

BlackTar says:
so that you can remain anonymous but still create a feeling of excitement and adventure

BlackTar says:
so that most people possible would use it

Friend says:
yup.. the [Norwegian data storage supervision department] would probably like it too

BlackTar says:
BUT then you can of course choose to make it explicit by way of our anonymous sms chat system!

BlackTar says:
and that costs money ™ per message

Friend says:
the problem is to beef up the user numbers…..’

BlackTar says:
yes – the secret to that is to place the bar as low as possible

BlackTar says:
once they’re ‘in’ they’ll have a lot of features to burn away the money on

BlackTar says:
or they can stick with the simple features – which cost money still

BlackTar says:
it mustn’t cost too much either

Friend says:
join for free.. increase 10 cents per use until fixed price of NOK 3 or whatever

BlackTar says:
I think a fixed price per received message is the way to go

BlackTar says:
some services [features] are of course more expensive than others

Friend says:
important: finding out how the triangulation thing works with the telcos.. if it is at all possible to buy this service [from them]

BlackTar says:
it is – if they make money on it

BlackTar says:
think about it this way – we would be doing the least amount of work possible : 1. Own the rights 2. Manage the concept 3. Harvest money

BlackTar says:
the best bit is that the telcos would be responsible for the integration and technical parts themselves

BlackTar says:
we just want money per license and share per received sms – we are only going to invest in the concept

BlackTar says:
see the presentation on rebel.as

Friend says:
the technical part is there.. it just needs to be hooked up with the Whoremonger ™ sms services

BlackTar says:
yes, and that’s not our responsibility

BlackTar says:
that costs money

BlackTar says:
and those interested in making money on their networks should carry those costs

BlackTar says:
if we only make something that talk in standard tongue [made with open standards]

BlackTar says:
then the rest should be fine

BlackTar says:
I think the essence is to create a concept with a low bar for participation, and at the same time offer flexible and advanced features

Friend says:
hmmm.. the input part in itself … registering … criteria .. must work on mobile .. have to be pretty vague? preformatted multiple choice?

BlackTar says:
that’s of the essence

BlackTar says:
creating something that WORKS here

BlackTar says:
that concept must be thoroughly thought and worked out

BlackTar says:
where the already proven technology bits only gets included as independent elements one takes for granted

BlackTar says:
the concept is really just a combination of existing technologies and a proven business model – combined in a new way with a kickass ‘frontend’ (if you catch my drift) on top of it all

Friend says:
Indeed! I’m just a bit busy — must get things done in a hurry!

BlackTar says:
oki

BlackTar says:
me too – really – but can’t be bothered to work :-\

Friend says:
I’m attending a meeting soon and need to have stuff finished :=

Friend says:
“but can’t be bothered to work” so true so true . it’s boring

BlackTar says:
it’s eating me away

BlackTar says:
slowly

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